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Consideration of marginal electricity in real-time minimization of distributed data centre emissions

Thomas Dandres, Reza Farrahi Moghaddam, Kim Khoa Nguyen, Yves Lemieux, Réjean Samson and Mohamed Cheriet

Article (2017)

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Cite this document: Dandres, T., Farrahi Moghaddam, R., Nguyen, K. K., Lemieux, Y., Samson, R. & Cheriet, M. (2017). Consideration of marginal electricity in real-time minimization of distributed data centre emissions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, p. 116-124. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.12.143
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Abstract

Among the innovative approaches to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of data centres during their use phase, cloud computing systems relying on data centres located in different regions appear promising. Cloud computing technology enables real-time load migration to a data centre in the region where the GHG emissions per kWh are the lowest. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to minimize GHG emissions cloud computing relying on distributed data centres. Unlike previous optimization approaches, our method considers the marginal GHG emissions caused by load migrations inside the electric grid instead of only considering the average emissions of the electric grid's prior load migrations. Results show that load migrations make it possible to minimize marginal GHG emissions of the cloud computing service. Comparison with the usual approach using average emission factors reveals its inability to truly minimize GHG emissions of distributed data centres. There is also a potential conflict between current GHG emissions accounting methods and marginal GHG emissions minimization. This conflict may prevent the minimization of GHG emissions in multi-regional systems such as cloud computing systems and other smart systems such as smart buildings and smart-grids. While techniques to model marginal electricity mixes need to be improved, it has become critical to reconcile the use of marginal and average emissions factors in minimization of and accounting for GHG emissions.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Distributed data centre optimization, GHG emissions, Real-time electricity generation, Marginal electricity

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 1500 Génie de l'environnement > 1503 Pollution de l'air et pollution par le bruit
2500 Génie électrique et électronique > 2501 Réseaux électriques
2700 Technologie de l'information > 2715 Optimisation
Department: Département de génie chimique
Research Center: Autre
CIRAIG - Centre international de référence sur le cycle de vie des produits, procédés et services
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, Ericsson-Montréal, Inocybe Technologies
Grant number: CRDPJ 424371-11
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 16:04
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2018 01:15
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/2400/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Journal of Cleaner Production (vol. 143)
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.12.143

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